For the first time in a long time, a school was able to host the state championship at its home stadium. That was an opportunity that the St. Thomas More Cougars took advantage of as they hosted the Division II state championship, winning the title 58-10.
“Top to bottom, I thought our kids played hard,” head coach Jim Hightower says. “I thought we had a great week of preparation. Our coaches did a great job putting a gameplan together. The kids went out and executed it. I’m really proud of the effort.”
“It’s just great being able to finish it off at the place where I’ve spent the past four years here working hard off-season and in-season,” senior quarterback Caleb Holstein says. “It’s awesome.”
“I cried the entire fourth quarter,” senior defensive back Jacob Trahan says. “I’m not going play college ball so that was my last game. I’m so glad I came out on top. Especially to have the entire community around here, it means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to everybody else.”
Although Holstein, a Harvard commit, took home the MVP trophy for the Cougars, he thought junior wide receiver Jack Bech deserved the honor.
“He had all the big plays tonight,” Holstein says. “Even the play at the end of the half, I just kind of threw it up there like a hail mary situation and Jack did it all. He played his butt off tonight, and I thought he deserved it.”
“It feels really good,” Bech says. “We made it to the semis, then we made it to the Dome. We lost. It’s good to come back this year to get Caleb his win that he earned.”
This is Hightower’s second state championship in four years at St. Thomas More. It is his first championship won in Cougar Stadium.